Flagship Audi Q8 takes on Range Rover. Full details have been revealed for the luxurious Audi Q8 – the rakish five-seat SUV that’s based on the Audi Q7, but places performance and style ahead of practicality. The flagship in Audi’s SUV ‘Q’ range will go head to head with models like the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, BMW X6 and Range Rover Sport when it arrives this summer.
Q8 AUDI’S RANGE ROVER RIVAL
It’s the production version of the Q8 Sport concept first unveiled at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, and Audi describe the Q8 as a four-door luxury coupé with the convenience and versatility of an SUV. It measures 4,986mm long, 1,995mm wide and 1,705mm high, making it 66mm shorter, but 22mm wider, than the Q7. Its boot capacity is 605 litres, extending to 1,755 with the seats folded down, making it more spacious than both the X6 or GLE.
Its most striking design features are its ‘Singleframe’ grille – now sporting six vertical fins – and a coupé-like roofline that culminates in a long spoiler and raked rear window. Audi credits the A8 saloon as inspiration for its striking rear light cluster, with a full-width strip of light connecting intricate tail lamps with 12 illuminated sections for each side.
Along with the choice of 12 exterior colours, the exterior design will also vary by trim level. Even lower-specification Q8’s have painted wheelarches, but S line models see the grille and exterior trim finished in matt grey, or black for the flagship Vorsprung edition. The former has HD Matrix LED headlights and 21-inch wheels fitted as standard, while the Vorsprung version gets 22-inch wheels, a head-up display and full leather upholstery. Up to 39 driving assistance systems can also be fitted to help keep you safe on the road, park the Q8 for you (including inside a garage), help tow a trailer and even warn the driver if they’re about to kerb the alloy wheels.
Like the A8 luxury saloon, there are two infotainment screens stacked vertically on the centre console, while Audi’s digital Virtual Cockpit is nestled in the instrument binnacle. When not in use, the upper display is designed to be invisible within the black dashboard, while a continuous air vent runs across the top of the fascia. A wide and robust centre console sits between them and can be upholstered in three types of leather, while interior details are highlighted at night by contour lighting. Under the skin, extensive use of aluminium and hot-formed components has kept weight down to 2,145kg, with a 3.0-litre TDI engine and Audi’s MHEV mild-hybrid technology fitted. Badged Q8 50 TDI, this 282bhp engine is available at launch, while a 228bhp Q8 45 TDI edition will follow early in 2019. An eight-speed tiptronic gearbox is standard, and the 50 TDI can get from 0-62mph in 6.3 seconds on its way to a top speed of 144mph. MHEV allows the engine to switch off when coasting at speeds between 34 and 99mph or when coming to a stop.
Adaptive air suspension is included as standard, allowing the ride height to adjust by up to 90mm for driving off-road or improved handling. Top Vorsprung versions also get all-wheel steering that improves agility and stability by turning the rear wheels by up to five degrees.
The Q8 will be built at Audi’s Bratislava plant alongside the Q7, Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche Cayenne, with prices expected to start from between £60,000 to £70,000.
“Up to 39 driving assistance systems can also be fitted to help keep you safe on the road.”